Thursday, June 25, 2009

Uganda - Trudy

A few funnies from Uganda along with news:

A man in the back of the church Sunday morning yelled, "You're preaching GOOD!" Wilber yelled back, " I know I'm preaching GOOD. God gave me this sermon!"

Laurie Thelen was riding in the front of the van. She commented that it was like being at the movies - only it was real!

Scott was a the camp this morning and washed his face. He then went outside and saw a baboon drinking out of the water source. He was hoping it was the toilet water source and not what he just used to wash his face.

I love it that the team has had many 'opportunities' to use 'squat pots' that are tiny retangular holes in the ground. When they are lucky - they are long drops instead of short drops. Now figure that one out:)

We left Mbale for Kampala on Tuesday stopping by Besnia Orphanage, which was founded by our friend, Retired Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo. It is an orphanage for blind children as well as sighted. They have build a new school on the grounds, in honor of his son, Martin, who died of cancer a couple years ago while attending a university in Colorado. We will be providing a library for the school next week. It was so good to see him and our friends at the orphanage. The kids are precious. The blind children sang for us. It was touching. One little girl about two had great English and sang and danced up a storm. I would have liked to take her home for my grandchildren, so they could play with her. They would love that.

We are staying at a guesthouse ran by the Anglican Church. It has a beautiful view of the the city - which is built on seven hills. Our first library / school is within walking distance down the hill. It is our baby - after a wonderful relationship with the teachers, headmistress, and librarian over the past five years time.

Tuesday - the 24th, we headed for Lake Mburo, for some relaxation. It is a long five hour drive over roads that I think someone described once as swiss cheese roads because of all the holes. For those new, it is unbelievable. It is a game of bumper cars/vans/buses/motorcycles/and bicycles racing and crowding - making lanes where there are none. The roads are either dirt - with a sea of potholes, or some tarmack - also with a sea of potholes - or, they are working on them and you have miles of fresh gravel that blows up dust so you can see to drive. Personally, I think it is a great adventure - but I have a sick sense of humor. :)

At Lake Mburo we took a boat ride and walked through the bush to see animals, as well as riding in the van. We saw Ugandan cobb, waterbucks, bushbuck, topi, African cape buffalos, hippos, crocks, baboons, monkeys, zebra, and wart hogs galore. Our boats were interesting, with half in each boat. Our's spluttered along...barely chugging. The other one stalled out, plus took on a bit of water - - but it was just a bit, so thats okay. :) Dave laughed and said that the time they were stalled - about 15 minutes - was the most restful time they had had in three days!

While we were at the open air cafe at the edge of the lake, a group of students arrived. There were 34 in a van the size of one of our mini-vans at home. Now the group believes me since I had told them I had rode in one of the matatus with 24 other people. All things are possible in Uganda!

There were ten of us in bandas (little lodges with 3 - 4 beds) and the rest in some tents down the road. We were feeling sorry for them until today we found out the tents are great and sit up on platforms, with comfortable cots. Plus, they had a big campfire and visited late into the evening. We complained and said they should have invited us instead of just yelling Marco across the bush, so that we would yell Polo back.

I forgot to mention Sarah Okumu accompanied us to Lake Mburo. It has been nice to have her company a little longer, so the group can have time with her. We left Randy Sisk and Kaitlin in a town called Masindi. They will go visit a child they sponsored through World Vision and join us tomorrow evening.

It is difficult for me, even after six summers in Uganda to see the poverty ... so many kids that should be in school can be seen along the road carrying large water jugs, endless mud homes with many children playing outside, women and men carry water jugs, as well - sometimes with many heavy jugs attached to a bike that they are desperately trying to push up a hill. I have stayed in homes here before that didn't have water, so though it is common here, it still bothers me. It is hard to put yourself in their place. We are so fortunate.

This is getting long, so I will sign off and write more next time. Everything is going well. Thanks for your prayers and support.


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